Preparation for Laying Sod


According to, sod is grass that has been grown from seed on a farm and then harvested by slicing off a thin layer of topsoil and then either rolling or stacking it. Therefore, sod is much easier to plant than lawn seed because it is a ready-made lawn. However, you still have to prepare the site for sod if you want the grass to grow optimally.

Step 1

Clear all debris off the soil, and pull any weeds that are growing there. Rake up any large rocks.

Step 2

Till the plot to loosen the soil until it is crumbly.

Step 3

Spread a 4-to-6-inch layer of topsoil over the tilled soil.

Step 4

Spread 1 lb. of 16-22-8 fertilizer over the soil.

Step 5

Till the soil again to work the fertilizer into the soil to a depth of 3 inches.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure the area is dry before you prepare soil for laying sod. You cannot prepare the soil for sod if it is muddy.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Rake
  • 16-22-8 fertilizer


  • Landscape America: Sod and Sod Installation
  • Purdue University: Sodbed Preparation
  • Ohio State University: Lawns

Who Can Help

  • Purdue University: Fertilization
Keywords: prepare for sod, sod rolls, grass sod

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.